Plea to include Calicut airport in Heal-in-India scheme

A passenger coming out of Calicut International Airport at Karipur. A file photo.

A passenger coming out of Calicut International Airport at Karipur. A file photo. | Photo Credit: SAKEER HUSSAIN

P. Abdul Hameed, MLA of Vallikkunnu constituency, has appealed to the Union government to include Calicut International Airport, Karipur, in the proposed Heal-in-India scheme that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to launch on August 15.

Heal-in-India and Heal-by-India are two ambitious projects being launched to promote medical tourism as part of the 75 th year of India’s Independence. When Heal-by-India will focus on sending doctors abroad to perform medical procedures, Heal-in-India will boost the country’s medical tourism.

“Thousands of people from abroad have been visiting Malabar for treatment, especially in centres like Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala, Tulah Clinical Wellness Resort, Meitra Hospital, KIMS Alshifa Hospital, Moulana Hospital, and several others. Malabar is the hub of Kerala’s medical tourism. Calicut International Airport should be included among the airports designated for pushing the Heal-in-India scheme,” Mr. Hameed said.

The Centre has identified 10 airports in the country on the basis of tourist inflow from 44 countries for medical purposes. Those airports are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Guwahati.

Special desks will be set up in designated airports to help tourists arriving for medical purposes. Interpreters and people who can speak multiple languages will be appointed at the desks. According to sources, apart from simplifying the visa norms for medical tourists, the government will also open a multi-lingual portal as part of the Heal-in-India project.

“Tulah Clinical Wellness Centre is one of its kind in the country. It is Malabar’s pride,” said Mr. Hameed, saying that the government should not turn a blind eye on the medical tourism happening in Malabar.

Apart from the Arabian Gulf, tourists are coming to India for healthcare treatment from African, Latin American and SAARC countries. The help desks being set up at the airports will address queries related to medical travel, transport, boarding and lodging. The project is seeking to provide end-to-end patient journey facilitation by boosting medical travel.

“We have the potential to position our country as a global hub for medical and wellness tourism,” said Mr. Hameed. Medical tourism market in the country is projected to more than double in four years.

Mr. Hameed, who is the vice-chairman of the Airport Advisory Committee at Calicut International Airport, has written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Airports Authority of India, and to the committee chairman. “We expect that the committee will take up this matter when it meets on August 17,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2022 6:20:14 pm |